Venessa Bougaard, mother to the late Tezlyn Bougaard, from Riverlea, Johannesburg, has emphasised that every person should not take cancer symptoms for granted because their lives could depend on it, Westside Eldos reports.
Her daughter was diagnosed with bone cancer in 1999.
“She went for radiation and chemo and was cancer-free for two years, in which she lived a healthy life,” said Bougaard.
According to Bougaard, Tezlyn was a very quiet and homely person, someone who related quite well with other people.
After the doctors sent her home, she was well and even managed to complete her Matric excellently.
When she was diagnosed the second time, it was not bone cancer anymore but lung cancer.
Lung cancer, also known as lung carcinoma, is a malignant lung tumour characterised by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. If left untreated, this growth can spread beyond the lung by the process of metastasis into nearby tissue or other parts of the body.
“Doctors didn’t give her years to live, but instead, the first time we met, they were really positive and said she would beat it.
“The second time they sort of avoided us … well, I suppose they knew it had gone far and didn’t want to add more pressure on us,” said Bougaard.
Her lung cancer worsened after she tried the popular “hookah pipe”.
“Two puffs of the pipe, and she was sick, and because her immune system was still weak and the disease seized the opportunity, she passed on in February 5, 2014, three days after her 20th birthday,” said Bougaard.
“My advice to parents and youngsters is to avoid the hookah pipe, as it is a really scary hazard to one’s health. Each lump or bump that takes too long to go away should be checked out by a doctor and X-rayed,” she said.
A hookah is a single or multi-stemmed instrument for vaporising and smoking flavoured tobacco or sometimes cannabis, whose vapour or smoke is passed through a water basin, often glass-based, before inhalation.
– Caxton News Service